The ARA has launched its 2020-2022 strategic plan for rail freight and ports to support increased modal share for the industry as the nation’s freight task grows.

Australasian Railway Association Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said rail would need to play a stronger role in meeting Australia’s freight needs.

“Our national freight task is expected to rise 35 per cent by 2040 and rail will play a critical part in meeting this demand,” Ms Wilkie said.

“A strong and resilient freight network makes the best use of all available modes of transport and there is certainly a case for greater use of rail in the future.

“Increasing the use of rail freight will reduce road congestion while building the capacity of the network safely and efficiently.

“A truly national approach will be essential to make sure we get the most from rail investment and create stronger connections between our cities and regions.”

The strategic plan supports regulatory reform to support rail freight productivity and ensure a coordinated and nationally consistent approach to freight policy.

The ARA will continue to promote the importance of an interoperable national rail freight network through the adoption of new technology and support for the ARTC’s efforts to implement its Advanced Train Management System on the interstate network.

Ms Wilkie said the ARA would now advance a dedicated research program, with three research projects to be launched in the 2020-21 financial year.

The research program will inform the strategy’s implementation and identify opportunities for government and industry to facilitate greater modal share for rail freight and drive productivity improvements across the sector.

Dedicated research projects will focus on the impediments to rail freight modal shift; rail freight productivity; and rail freight infrastructure investment.

To view the strategic plan, click here.


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